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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Karst Caves in Alaska

These habitats form in areas of underlying limestone. Erosion by ground water and chemical weathering produces a network of caves and tunnels connected to the overlying landscape through sinkholes and subsurface water flow. In Alaska Karst landscape is best known and studied in the Alexander Archipelago of Southeast but there are Karst caves in other areas of the state. Karst areas are better drained with less acidic soil which promotes the growth of larger trees and improves instream habitat for salmon. The caves also provide habitat for nesting, denning and hibernation for a wide range of birds and mammals, particularly bats.

For more information see:
Wildlife Action Plan Appendix 5: Karst Cave Habitats (PDF 755 kB)

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